Election schedule to facilitate PM's campaign: Congress, TMC criticise 7-phase plan | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Election schedule to facilitate PM's campaign: Congress, TMC criticise 7-phase plan

Mar 16, 2024 06:25 PM IST

Why seven-phase election is required for the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, the Trinamool raised question over the month-long election schedule.

When was the last time Maharashtra saw a five-phase polling, Congress leader and Karnataka minister Priyank Kharge said criticising the marathon election schedule that the Election Commission of India announced on Saturday. The election will start on April 19 and will conclude on June 1 spanning over a month and the counting will take place on June 4. Bihar and West Bengal will have seven phases of elections.

The 7-phase election for the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies will begin on April 19 and conclude on June 1. The counting will be on June 4.
The 7-phase election for the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies will begin on April 19 and conclude on June 1. The counting will be on June 4.

Lok Sabha Election 2024 Date: Follow LIVE updates

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"The whole election schedule is trying to facilitate the campaigning of the prime minister. The first phase has 102 constituencies, the second phase 89, the third phase 94, the fourth phase 96, the fifth phase 49, the sixth and seventh phases 57 each. Maharashtra has five phases of election. When was the last time when Maharashtra had elections in five phases? Whatever excuses the ECI gives regarding geographical barriers, if you look closely you will figure out that the idea is to give the BJP as much space as possible to bring its narrative," Priyank Kharge said.

2024 Lok Sabha polls: Check statewise full schedule

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said a seven-phase schedule means development work will be stopped for these 70-80 days. "You can imagine how the country will progress because as per the election code of conduct, people will not move, the material will not be supplied, budget will not be spent. So this, according to me, is not good. The elections could have been completed within three or four (phases)..but Modi is Modi," the senior Kharge said.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said it is a concern that the ECI is still stuck with 7 phases. "Last time too, there were seven phases. It proves that the ground situation has not changed much though we speak of digital India, artifical intelligence," Adhir said.

The Trinamool Congress said the Election Commission did not take into account the West Bengal government's views on a seven-phase polling for the 42 seats in the state. "State government's views were not taken into account. This is a disregard for the federal structure. We fail to understand the reasons for holding such a long election. This is quite surprising," TMC's Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said.

"There are many states with more constituencies than West Bengal and there are fewer phases of elections. But we have 42 constituencies and 7-phase elections. We told them that voter turnout is higher when the number of phases is fewer. But nobody listened to us," West Bengal minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said.

'So much for one nation, one election but....'

As the ECI did not announce the dates for the assembly election in J&K citing security issues as being the deterrent for simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said when there is so much going on over one nation, one election, the EC is unable to conduct simultaneous polls in J&K. "On one side the Govt of India wanted One Nation, One Election and on the other side, they are holding State elections and parliamentary elections in 4 states, why is this (J&K) being denied? When every party wanted elections (in J&K) then what is the reason it is not being done? If they say security is the reason, I do not think so. How is that security is alright for the parliamentary elections and not for the state elections?..."

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